ASHS Press Releases

American Society for Horticultural Science

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Consumers Prefer New Apple Varieties to Established Breeds

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Results of tasting experiments provide answers for apple breeders, marketers

A new study of consumer apple preferences used choice experiments to investigate consumers' preferences and willingness to pay for 13 new and established apple varieties. Results showed that participants revealed stronger preferences and were willing to pay more for newer rather than more established apple varieties. The study will help apple breeders make more targeted breeding decisions by better understanding what quality attributes consumers like or dislike.

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Shrubs Recommended for Highway Slopes

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Researchers test 25 shrubs, suggest best candidates for use in urban landscapes

Researchers evaluated the performance of 25 shrub species grown on a slope during three seasons. Two mulches, biodegradable textile and polypropylene fabric, were used in comparison with the control of bare soil; the highest plant growth in terms of height and biomass was found in mulched plots. Fuzzy deutzia and virginal mock orange showed a higher number of desirable qualities than the other species tested and were recommended for use on highway and roadside slopes.

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Study Finds Kids with Farming Experiences Have More Connection to Local Foods

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Japanese locavore movement "chisan-chisho" extends to school programs

Researchers surveyed fifth-grade children in Japan regarding their farming experiences, attitudes toward locally grown foods, and attachment to the region in which they live. The results suggested that children who had opportunities to experience farming had more positive attitudes toward locally grown foods and a stronger sense of attachment to their region. The authors recommend school and community collaborations to revitalize farming programs and support the Japanese local foods movement.

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Using Controlled-release Fertilizers with Herbaceous Perennials

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Study includes recommendations for optimum CRF usage to establish landscape plants

A study determined optimum controlled-release fertilizer recommendations including fertilizer type, rate, and timing for establishing seven common herbaceous perennials. Two controlled-release fertilizers were tested in six treatments. The researchers found that that all seven landscape perennials could benefit from an application of two tablets (7.5 g) of 16N–3.5P–10K Osmocote®Plus fertilizer (per plant) at transplant.

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"Greenness Level" is Predictor of Athletes' Performance

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Study says track and field athletes perform better, have less anxiety at landscaped venues

Researchers investigated the impact of greenery and landscaping on athletic performance and anxiety in collegiate track and field athletes. The research studied performance and anxiety levels of athletes competing at different venues that featured a range of landscaping levels. A regression analysis showed greenness level to be a predictor of best performance by the athletes.

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Expanding the Plant Palette on Extensive Green Roofs

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New plants, irrigation regimes recommended for green roof use

Trials were conducted on green roof test plots in Oregon to evaluate the performance of eight plant species during establishment and under three different water management regimes. Results showed some succulents, bulbs, and rhizomes to have potential for use on extensive green roofs in seasonally dry climates, even without supplemental irrigation. The study said that grasses and shrubs that display drought tolerance in their native environments may not be recommended for extensive green roof use.

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